Country music star Jason Aldean took the stage at the B.O.K. Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 12 for the first time since the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1st in Las Vegas.
During Aldean’s performance that Sunday night in Vegas, a gunman opened fire on the crowd from his room on the 32nd floor of the the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort. Fifty-eight people were killed and nearly 500 more injured.
But on October 12th, in Tulsa, Aldean had a message for his fans:
After coming out and playing three songs, Aldean addressed the tragedy in Las Vegas, saying, "Every day that goes by, we think about the 58 people that lost their lives."
He also had a message for those who would use violence to sow fear.
“These people are going to continue to try and hold us down and continue to try to do things to us that are going to make us live in fear and be scared and not go out and do what it is we want to do, whether it's go to a concert or go to a ballgame or go to the mall or go to a movie. And so to those people that keep trying to do that, I say, 'F--- you, we don’t really care what you're trying to say, what you try to do to us.'"
Jimmie Tremel, a pop culture writer at the Tulsa World, was at the concert last Thursday night. He said the mood among the crowd was a bit solemn before the concert got going. But once Aldean had played a few songs and addressed the events in Las Vegas, the focus came back to just putting on a good show and making sure the fans enjoyed themselves.
"Jason Aldean said [that] for a couple of days, he didn't know what he was going to do. How do you do this show? Obviously nothing prepares you for this," Tremel says. "So that's what he fell back on is just giving people escapism, have a good time... and that's what happened. He gave everyone a good time."
To hear more of Aldean's remarks and John Horn's interview with Jimmie Tremel, click the blue player above.